TYLER (KYTX) - We could all use a refresher on our ABCs this summer, but we're not talking about the song you learned when you were little. These are the ABCs of skin cancer, and dermatologists say they could save your life.
Dermatologists say you should think about the letters ABCDE when you're scanning your body for any irregularities this summer.
First is A. It stands for asymmetry. If the spot you notice isn't symmetrical in shape, that's not a good sign.
B is border. The border of your mole should be smooth, not jagged.
And, C stands for color. If the color is very dark or unevenly distributed, that's not a good sign either.
That was the problem with the rash on Pat Zip's neck, or what she thought was just a rash.
"My dermatologist noticed a red spot on my neck. And, i didn't think anything of it. I wouldn't have ever thought that that would have been a problem area."
But, her dermatologist didn't like the look of it.
"She said 'this looks irritated.' And, i was surprised because i didn't even notice it to be quite honest. "
Sure enough, the tests showed it was cancerous, and Zips had it removed. The doctor told her it was the coloring of the irritation that was alarming.
"It was not raised. It was just red, but she did say, 'i want you to look at this closely. Inside of this, look at it closely. There's little black dots.'"
Now, those dots are something she checks for on her body regularly.
The last two letters are D and E.
D stands for diameter. It's a red flag if it's more than six millimeters in diameter. That's about the size of a pencil eraser.
And finally, E is evolving. If you see a mole change over time and start to look a little differently than it used to, see your doctor.